Watford 2020 Update
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
An update to Overview and Scrutiny Committee
on the progress of Watford 2020, the council's corporate
The scrutiny committee received a report of the Watford 2020 Programme Manager which provided an update on the latest position of the corporate transformation programme.
The Watford 2020 Programme Manager and Group Head of Transformation gave a presentation explaining the background to the Watford 2020 Programme and the accompanying report. The Group Head of Transformation explained about each of the enabling projects and the current position, including –
· Customer Management System Replacement
· Front Office
· Personal IT
· Wider Area Network (WAN)
· Unified Communications
· Business Support
· Business Intelligence
The Watford 2020 Programme Manager provided an update on the following service-led projects –
· Development Management / Planning Policy
· Community and Environmental
· Community Protection
· Revenues and Benefits
· Corporate Asset Management
· Transport and Infrastructure
· Print and Post
· Human Resources
At future meetings councillors would be provided with updates on the progress of these areas.
In response to a question about involving external organisations who worked with the council, the Watford 2020 Programme Manager confirmed that as part of the workshops external agencies were considered where necessary. The team was aware that there were various outside organisations that interacted with the council.
The Watford 2020 Programme Manager stated that the team were mindful of GDPR. A Data Protection Impact Assessment had been carried out and any GDPR implications were reviewed. It was part of the design process.
Following a question about the ‘RAG’ status and those in red, the Watford 2020 Programme Manager advised that a monthly report was presented to the Watford 2020 Programme Board, chaired by the Managing Director. This report provided details of each project. Officers considered whether there was anything that could be put in place to ensure the project met its deadlines or the board could be asked for an extension with relevant explanations for the request.
A question was asked about complaints and the ability to provide feedback. The Watford 2020 Programme Manager confirmed that one of the first things to go live was the compliments, comments and complaints form. It was also possible to provide feedback through the member and staff portals.
The Group Head of Transformation responded to a question about tender decisions and whether officers involved in those processes and decisions represented areas from across the council. He explained that the decision process depended on the contract and which officers were appropriate for each procurement exercise, but officers from different service areas were involved.
The Portfolio Holder, Councillor Watkin, thanked the programme team for the presentation. He suggested it may be useful to give councillors a demonstration at the next meeting. He suggested the process of transformation looked impersonal. However, officers were fully involved and did any related work in addition to their normal work. It was important to understand the pressure officers were under. He commented that it would take time for the processes to bed in. He asked councillors to provide any feedback they received or had about the process.
In response to a question about job losses, the Group Head of Transformation confirmed that there had been some and there were likely to be a few more. Part of the driver for the programme was to save £1 million. When any jobs were at risk the council worked with officers to try and redeploy them to other positions. Senior officers had carefully considered how the loss of jobs could be minimised. As an example, he explained how vacant posts in the Customer Services’ team were filled with fixed term-contracts or contractors on short-term contracts.
The chair thanked the officers for their presentation and looked forward to seeing them again on 24 October.
1. that the Watford 2020 update be noted.
2. that at the meeting on 24 October 2019 officers provide a demonstration of one or two online forms.
Report author: Liam Hornsby
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Date of decision: 23/07/2019
Decided at meeting: 23/07/2019 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee